It is good snorkeling at Pulau Rubiah. From the Peune Edenn resort on the east side just walk into the sea and start swimming. Or cross over to the west side of the island where one can jump from the jetty.
Domestic tourists - on weekends - tend to stick to the Peune Edenn side, wearing life jackets. We preferred the side near the jetty: deep, clear water and the sea is calmer there.
But to be honest, as concerns 'sea gardens', we think Karimunjawa and Menjangan Island near Bali are better. See some more pics at the Travelogue.
Divers come to Rubiah Island too, by boat from the dive centres at Gapang and at Iboih.
Address: Pulau Rubiah, Iboih, Sabang.
Directions: Return fare by speedboat from Iboih costs Rp 100,000. The boatman will give you his mobile number, so you can call him to take you back in your own time. He may offer to throw in a boat trip around the island for a total of Rp 150,000 (December 2010). The slow taxi boats are cheaper, but you have to wait until one has sufficient passengers.
One cannot come home from Sabang without being able to say: 'I have been at the north-western limit of the Indonesian archipelago'. But actually the Zero Kilometre Monument marking 'the starting point of Indonesia' is an ugly construction, not even providing a good sea view because of the trees surrounding it.
From Gapang or Iboih it is only a ten or seven km ride through a forest reserve, the only purpose of the road being to lead to the monument. It is standing on top of a cliff where Weh Island as well as Indonesia abruptly come to an end. That is, if one conveniently disregards uninhabited Rondo Island 20 km out at sea.
A group of monkeys profits from the daily stream of visitors. If you forgot to bring food for them, you can buy peanuts at a stall. The monkeys are by no means as assertive as those at Monkey Forest, Ubud, Bali. Only one alpha male took the peanuts we offered from our hand, the others were too shy and waited for the nuts to be thrown at them.
If you want to befriend monkeys, it is not even necessary to go as far as 'km 0'. At the hairpins in the road between Pria Laot and Gapang they are also sitting on the roadside hoping for someone to throw food at them.
Sometimes referred to as Sabang's 'mini volcano', this geothermal area is not even a mini volcano. Yet, judging by the charred tree trunks, the trees must have had the opportunity to grow in historic times and then have been destroyed by increased volcanic activity.
We went to the spot by rented motorbike. The road leading inland from Jaboi was being upgraded, and is now suitable for cars also.
Once there, cross the ravine to find the boiling water hole and enjoy the view of Balohan harbour bay.
Do not expect a big waterfall on an island as small as Weh. Yet as the fall in Pria Laot river is the only one the island can boast of, this small but multi-tiered fall located in protected forest was being made more accessible. Work was in progress surfacing the first couple of hundred metres of the access road. Next came a concrete footpath with two bridges under construction. But that eventually changed into an unpaved path and the last metres we had to clamber over rocks and wade through the river.
Thus we reached the pool under the waterfall which in places is 1.5 m deep. We had a swim and a 'massage' under the fall.
A booklet of the Sabang Tourist Authority states: 'A huge number of Japanese bunkers are scattered across the entire island. This is why Weh Island is known as the “Island of a Thousand Fortresses” The bunkers were all built between 1943 and 1945. They used to be connected by tunnels that are now closed due to security reasons. There is also a big bunker with many tunnel entrances on Gunung Batu. It is also a popular place for Japanese Ghosts.'
We did not see huge numbers of bunkers, presumably most of them lie in less accessible places. A small one we saw near the beach of Sabang town (Pantai Kasih).
But the finest specimen is located on the east coast at Anoi Itam, just a few steps from the main road. It is a good place to visit also for the view over Malacca Strait. On the hill top is a bunker for the gunner, at the back of the hill what may have been living quarters.
For scuba diving, there are two main dive center, European well-run Lumba-lumba and first local establishment Rubiah Tirta Diver. Both have plus and minus. I praise lumba-lumba correct standard procedure and they are vigilant over safety. You must show your scuba dive certification and ensemble your own gear for first time, to make sure you are known what you are doing. They are also know how to handle your precious gear and organized them well on the big plastic box with your name on it. It is important when at the same times there are 10 to 15 divers out to the sea. Make sure you mark your own gear. The bad things about lumba-lumba, they “hired” many interns that are doing their master dive course. Apart of their intern, they are often handle guest. This caused problems since they are not well train staff and has no knowledge on hospitality industries. I bumped into “wrong receptionist “with sour face and ill temper. You must meet the owner Marjan and Ton who treat divers and guest with high standard of professionalism. Apart from that flaw, you are at the right hand. Lumba-lumba has a good team. Very good dive guide and knowledgeable and experienced boat man who can handle rough sea to relocate divers. Meanwhile, Rubiah showed poor management skill. Their boat man busy catching fish rather than keep an eye for diver’s bubble surfacing the sea. No stairs on the boat, so female divers must climb high and throw themselves to the boat. Their dive guides are experienced divers and know the places very well. But overall they have no business sense and can not plan dive trip perfectly. If you are experience diver that can look after yourselves and want to use their cheap rate, I think you can confidently dive with Rubiah. But if you are appreciating high standard procedure in scuba dive you would consider Lumba-Lumba.
Most of all 15 - 20 main dive sites on Pulau Weh are within close reach (max. half an hour), so usually they operate each dive as a separate boat trip, spending surface intervals relaxed back on the beach, allowing for maximum flexibility in programming dives according to everyone's wishes.
Some places such as Peunateung and Arus Bale could have fierce current. But they have a good big fish and schooling of Barracuda. The other notable dive site is Canyon. Nice corral formation and interesting landscape. Most of the dive sites are best to start at some depth (20 - 40 m), and then followed by a long multi level profile, and currents are often around at the top sites, each dive already offers loads to see, but they're also a bit more demanding than shorter and shallower dives as in many other places.
Balohan Bay is a seaport located at Southeast Weh island, a deeply nature seaport with the beauty of its mountain range, a fisiherman village where we could find the beach with furnished by many wooden made canoe for a fishing and a harbor for Ferry and speedboat
Weh island as a bigger one is surrounded by other smaller islands including Klah island, Rubiah island, Seulako island, and Rondo island. As a whole, all these islands cover an area of 154 square kilometers with the population concentrated on the main island of Weh. Those islands are a rainforest island which covered by a lush green vegetation, slopes of mountains range, Balohan Bay and Sabang bay with its calm sea wave, the beaches with its beauty of marine life and a home for various kind animals and a good place for a bird watching
Before your trip to Weh island, please do enjoy a wide screen of Blue sky and blue ocean with a bluish mountain range at the background. Ulee Lheue is one of a nice place for vacation in Banda Aceh
A speed boat depart twice a day, from Weh island's Balohan Bay sea port it is at 08.30 am and 03.00 pm while from Ulee lheue Banda Aceh it is at 10.00 am and 04.00 pm, from Balohan seaport you could take a taxi or a minibus sharing taxi head on 10 km away to the north to Sabang downtown and getting around to Jl Perdagangan, to a fisherman village at Jl. Cut Nyak Dhin and getting around Sabang downtown